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Dukes hold their own in loss to Phoebus

Gloucester High School varsity football players faced Phoebus, a team ranked in the top 20 nationally, for their home opener last Thursday—but the Dukes held their own, according to coach Sonny Merchant.

Gloucester lost the game, 42-0, giving up two touchdowns in each quarter of the first half and one TD in the third and fourth quarters. But Dukes’ fans saw an improved team go up against the Phantoms.

"They’re ranked, I think, 17th nationally and obviously they are one of the best teams in our district and in our area," GHS coach Sonny Merchant said of the opponents. "We didn’t produce the yards like I wanted to but we did manage eight first downs. We also didn’t lose the ball and we didn’t make that many awful mistakes—except on defense. There were some mental mistakes and we gave up big plays for touchdowns," said Merchant.

"Defensively, we shut down what we wanted to shut down, but the big plays killed us. T...

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